How dangerous are roadside work zones?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking roadside occupational fatalities in 2003. Since then, there has been an average of 123 roadside worker deaths each year across the U.S. — with 143 happening in 2016. Work zone fatalities amount to an average of 745 fatalities when non-workers are factored in, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Center for Construction Training and Research said that the majority of roadside worker fatalities between 2011-2016 were caused by drivers who entered work zones (also referred to as “intrusions”).
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, roughly 5,333 work zone crashes and 1,540 injuries occur in Illinois each year. From 2013-2017, approximately 178 people died in work zone crashes across the state — six of them were workers.
Does driver negligence lead to work zone crashes?
Crashes at roadside work zones are 100 percent preventable. That’s because drivers are warned ahead of time before approaching work zones on major roads and interstates. Some drivers fail to acknowledge signs urging them to slow down or traffic cones indicating that it’s time to switch lanes.
Common causes of roadside work zone crashes include:
- Distracted driving: A driver fails to slow down or see a work zone while distracted by a cellphone or while multitasking.
- Speeding: A driver exceeding the speed limit causes a crash when traffic backs up at a work zone.
- Drunk driving: Impaired judgment and delayed reaction time caused by drunk driving results in a crash at a work zone.
- Aggressive driving: A driver becomes impatient in a work zone and attempts a dangerous or illegal maneuver.
- Drowsy driving: A driver falls asleep at the wheel and either crashes into backed-up traffic or into a work zone at full speed.
What are my legal options after a roadside work zone crash?
There is no excuse for failing to slow down or safely navigate a roadside work zone. Drivers who endanger workers and other road users should be held accountable when they cause someone’s injury or death.
Work zone crashes often result in:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Lacerations and bruises
If you’re a motorist who was injured in a roadside work zone, the Chicago attorneys at Coplan + Crane can help you pursue a car accident claims against the at-fault driver. We can investigate your crash. We can also negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company for a fair settlement to cover the costs of:
- Medical bills
- Wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Partial or permanent disability
Contact us online to find out how we can help you. We offer free and confidential case evaluations.